Biometrics is ideal for applications that require unique, absolute, and secure user identification, such as access control, social service benefits distribution, prisoner identification, time and attendance, labor management, law enforcement, banking, and personal computer and network security. Even users in traditionally conservative fields such as healthcare are exploring biometric identification systems. For example, one hospital uses a patient's fingerprint to streamline registration, decrease errors such as duplicate records, and curtail dishonest practices.
Contact memory technology is ideal for use in harsh industrial applications and in situations that would render barcodes unreadable or impractical. Buttons can mark hazardous and radioactive waste for long-term storage, track the maintenance of airplane brakes, and store repair diagrams. Attached to the ears of livestock, buttons track the animals from birth through processing, and carry data on feed and antibiotic use. Contact memory technology is well-suited to guard tour and access control applications in which users can access secure areas conveniently. Versatile touch/button technology can be used in healthcare to create records and match mothers and newborns, or to track items along an assembly line and to store manufacturing history.
Voice recognition is commonly used in the automotive industry for various manufacturing and inspection applications. It is also used in warehousing and distribution to track material movement in real time, in the transportation industry for receiving and transporting shipments, in laboratory work, and in inspection and quality control applications across all industries.
Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR)
Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) is most commonly used to encode and read information on checks and bank drafts to speed clearing and sorting. It is also effective for uncovering fraud, such as color copies of payroll checks or hand-altered characters on a check, both of which are easily detected by the absence of magnetic ink. Fast clearing and sorting, as well as fraud detection, benefits customers, financial institutions, and retail establishments.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is used in high-volume financial applications such as payment processing, check reconciliation, and billing. It is also commonly used for high-volume document management in the insurance and healthcare industries. The technology is frequently found in libraries, publishing houses, and wherever printed text must be entered into a computer. OCR is also used in heavy-duty manufacturing environments for reading direct-marked, human-readable part numbers. The pharmaceuticals industry uses a variation of OCR called optical character verification (OCV) to assure that critical human-readable lot and date numbers cannot be misread.
Optical Mark Recognition (OMR)
Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) is used for standardized testing as well as course enrollment and attendance in education. Human resource departments across industries use OMR for applications such as benefits enrollment, employee testing, change of employee status, payroll deductions, and user training. Healthcare providers use the technology for registration and surveys, and medical labs for patient evaluations and tracking supply orders and lab services. OMR is also used for time and attendance, labor tracking, inventory management, voting applications, exit surveys, polling, and all manner of questionnaires and evaluation studies. Because it is easy to use and cost effective for opinion tracking, the technology has become a tool for on-location and direct-mail marketing.
Traditional machine vision systems continue to be used for quality inspection, gauging, and robotic assembly in the automotive, electronics, aerospace, healthcare, and metal industries among others. These systems may also incorporate barcode reading. The next generation of 2D dedicated vision-based scanners are being used for quality control, WIP, and high-speed sortation in industries such as electronics, automotive, and mail and package delivery. The pharmaceutical industry is also using 2D scanning systems to reconcile packaging, inserts, and labels on their packaging lines in order to satisfy the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations.